Gesta vs. Manzanarez for WBO NABO Title on ESPN, June 14
Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (31-2-2, 17 KOs), the former world title challenger of Cebu, Philippines will battle 135-pound contender Roberto “Tito” Manzanarez (35-1, 28 KOs) of Phoenix, Arizona in a 10-round fight for the NABO Lightweight Title in the main event of the June 14 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. ESPN will air the fights beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights on Friday, June 15 at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.
Gesta, who now calls San Diego, Calif. his home, is a 30-year-old contender who has defeated quality opponents such as Gilberto “El Flaco” Gonzalez and Martin “El Brochas” Honorio. The southpaw will return after his second world title opportunity, which was against WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine World Champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares, considered the very best lightweight in the world at the time. In his first shot at a title, Gesta fought Miguel “Titere” Vazquez for the IBF Lightweight World Championship.
“I can’t wait to get back into the ring and put on a great show against Roberto Manzanarez,” said Mercito Gesta. “Roberto is a young, tall, talented, and a hungry fighter with an outstanding fight record. I’ve been training hard with my dad, my team, and Coach Freddie Roach, and come June 14, Robert and I will give the boxing fans a great fight!”
Manzanarez is a solid contender who, though born in the United States, has spent most of his career fighting in Mexico. The 23-year-old pugilist has defeated former world champion Gamaliel “El Platano” Diaz and former world title contender Hector “Charro Negro” Gonzalez. Manzanarez is ready to make his name in the lightweight division in his first main event on ESPNand first attempt for a regional title.
“This fight is very important for me,” said Roberto Manzanarez. “All fights are important, but this one is the most important one because winning this fight will earn me more opportunities. I’m working on everything in the gym. I know the style of Mercito Gesta and I know that he’s fast. But I’m working very hard to win this fight.”
The co-main event will feature an exciting battle between two undefeated Golden Boy Promotions prospects as Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio (13-0, 8 KOs) takes on Manny “Chato” Robles III (15-0, 7 KOs) for the vacant NABF Featherweight Title.
Valerio is a heavy-handed prospect who earned his undefeated record by defeating one tough opponent after another. The 23-year-old native of Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico is ready to be considered a contender, but only if he can get past his Golden Boy Promotions stablemate.
“I am thankful for another opportunity,” said Edgar Valerio. “I will give the fans a great fight. Without a doubt this clash of undefeated prospects will exceed expectations and emotions. I await a great productive night of boxing for my team and myself.”
Robles III is a 23-year-old native of Southern California who has steadily built his resume since making his professional debut in 2012. Robles III made his headlining debut in Sept. 2017 when he defeated Jose Estrella in an LA FIGHT CLUB event, and he’ll be one victory away from contender status if triumphant on June 14.
“Valerio is a good, talented fighter, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” said Manny Robles III. “I never underestimate anyone that’s why I’m training my butt off. I understand this is the biggest fight of my career. The only thing I’m worried about is my opponent and being victorious.”
Former two-division world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon will be the special VIP guest for this action-packed event. The native of Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico made his name in the sport of boxing as one of Golden Boy Promotions’ first prospects and champions, defeating the likes of Orlando “El Fenomeno” Cruz and Jhonny Gonzalez in his celebrated career. Ponce De Leon will be in attendance for this event to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center before the ESPN transmission begins. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.
The undercard of this event will feature prospects from around the nation. Herbert “Ace” Acevedo (14-2, 6 KOs), a native of Garden City, Kansas, will take on David Thomas (6-2-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super lightweight battle. Rommel Caballero (0-0-1) of Coachella, Calif. will return in a four-round super featherweight clash, while Luis Feliciano (6-0, 3 KOs) of Utuado, Puerto Rico will participate in an eight-round 140-pound bout. Opponents for these two prospects will be announced shortly.